Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

#5 in Best Things To Do in Rome
Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel picture
Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
1 of 3
Dennis Jarvis/Flickr

Key Info

Viale Vaticano, 97

Details

Churches/Religious Sites, Museums, Sightseeing Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
4.8scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

You'll find one of Vatican City's most notorious attractions housed within these walls – the Sistine Chapel (and Michelangelo's famous frescos). A tour of the Vatican Museums grants access to various sections of the palaces, the Sistine Chapel included. But don't overlook the treasures housed within the museums themselves, including the spiral staircase and the Raphael Rooms. The Vatican Museums are so immense that guided tours are highly recommended though they make the price of visiting pretty expensive. Audio guides are a much cheaper alternative.

Recent visitors gushed about the Vatican Museums, but warned future visitors to reserve tickets online well in advance. Others suggested splurging for the guided tours as they offer a wealth of knowledge (and may allow you to skip the line or enter the site before it opens to the public). If you don't want to spend on a guided tour, consider doing your homework and reading up on the site before visiting – a recommendation from past travelers.

Budget several hours to see this attraction. Keep in mind that the museums are notoriously crowded, especially on Saturdays, Mondays, the last Sunday of the month, rainy days and around holidays. You should also respect the museums' dress code (no short skirts, shorts or bare shoulders), as well as the whisper and no-photo policies in the Sistine Chapel. Located in Vatican City, you can find the museums off the Cipro-Musei Vaticani metro stop; bus No. 49 stops in front of the museums' entrance. Tickets start at 17 euros (or about $21) for adults and 8 euros (about $9.90) for children ages 6 to 18. If you purchase your tickets online (on the museums' official website), you'll have the benefit of skipping the line. Audio guide rentals start at 7 euros (less than $9). The museums are free to visit (though very crowded) on the last Sunday of the month. The museums are open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; final entry is at 4 p.m. For more information, visit the website.

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More Best Things To Do in Rome

Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi)
St. Peter's Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro)
Type
Time to Spend
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#1 Trevi Fountain (Fontana di Trevi)

A must-see on many travelers' itineraries, the Trevi Fountain is situated amongst a high concentration of hotels, shopping and nightlife. Finished in the mid-1700s, the Trevi is a powerful example of a baroque design with a distinctly mythological character. The god of the sea, Oceanus, emerges from the pool, flanked by his trusty Tritons. The fountain underwent an extensive, mutlimillion euro restoration and reopened in its full splendor in November 2015.

According to Roman lore, throwing one, two or three coins into the Trevi, with your right hand over your left shoulder ensures you'll return to Rome; you'll fall in love with an attractive Roman; and you'll marry that same Roman.

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